The Widow's Season
By Laura Brodie
(Berkley Trade, Paperback, 9780425227657, 320pp.)
Publication Date: June 2, 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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A mesmerizing debut novel about love, grief, and the ghosts who show up where we least expect them.
Sarah McConnell's husband had been dead for three months when she saw him in the grocery store.
What does a woman do when she's thirty-nine, childless, and completely alone for the first time in her life? Does it mean she's crazy to think she sees her late husband beside a display of pumpkins? Or is it just what people do, a natural response to grief that will fade in time? That's what Sarah McConnell's friends told her, that it was natural, would last a season, and then fade away.
But what if there was another answer? What if he was really there? They never found the body, after all. What if he is still here somehow, and about to walk back into her life?
Laura Brodie is a Harvard graduate and visiting professor of English at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. Her first book, Breaking Out: VMI and the Coming of Women, was published by Pantheon to critical acclaim. Her memoir, One Good Year: Love in a Time of Homeschooling, is forthcoming from Harper. The Widow’s Season, her first novel, won the 2005 Faulkner Society/Evans Harrington Grant for Best Novel-in-Progress. Laura lives with her husband and their three daughters in Lexington, Virginia.
1. What are some of the meanings behind the novel's title? Why do you think the author chose it, and how does the plot follow the holiday seasons?
"In The Widow's Season, Brodie draws on literary traditions, but hides the academic stuff under the flow of smart dialogue and sharp detail. This is a work of craft and imagination."
"In The Widow's Season, Laura Brodie confronts all the twists and turns of grief and loss, love and marriage, and the human heart with honesty, humor, and great intelligence. This novel is spellbinding, right up to its surprising and poignant final page."
-Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle
"The Widow's Season is far more than what it seems to be at first - a straightforward story of a woman getting used to a crushing loss. It's smarter, slyer, and more unconventional than that. It's haunting-and haunted too."
-Elizabeth Benedict, author of Almost and The Practice of Deceit